The Ministerial Committee on the Performance of Nigeria’s Athletes at the recently concluded World Athletics Championships, Doha Qatar on Monday submitted their report to the Minister of Youth and Sports Sunday Dare at his office at the MKO Abiola Stadium in Abuja.
The eight-person committee headed by Professor Ken Angwueje had been constituted on 21 October to assess the causes and factors responsible for Nigeria’s “abysmal performance” in Doha where the country won a solitary bronze medal.
The Committee which was given eight days to carry out their assignment were tasked with identifying challenges, proffering solutions and providing a workable roadmap to ensure better outings for the country’s athletes at future international meets.
Presenting ten copies of the report to the Minister, chairman of the committee Professor Ken Angwueje said the committee had in the course of their assignment, examined the facts, established the truths and suggested measures to prevent a re-occurrence of the less than impressive performance of team Nigeria at the 17th IAAF World Championship in Doha, while also suggesting ways forward.
In his response, the Minister of Youth and Sports Sunday Dare praised the level of commitment and patriotism exhibited by members of the committee in carrying out their assignment and assured that the report would be forensically examined and key points noted in developing an action plan for resuscitating athletics.
Mr. Dare stressed the importance of ensuring that lessons are learnt from the Doha experience adding that “Doha reminds us that you only go to a championship with your best so that your work will not go to waste.”
Ensuring that past mistakes are not repeated, Mr.Dare said, informs the new approach by the Ministry in developing a new framework for Nigerian sports.
“When we talk of about the next level this is what we mean, doing things the right way,” Mr. Dare said.
The Minister also sounded a note of warning to sports federations reiterating the ministry’s commitment to its oversight functions to ensure compliance with best practices and the repositioning of Nigerian sports.
“No Federation is bigger than the Ministry. We have oversight powers over them,” Mr. Dare declared.
The committee had Professor Ken Angwueje with Dr. Umar Bindir, Mr. Rotimi Obajimi, Alhaji Ibrahim Galadima, Dr. Dare Esan, Amb. Mary Onyali, Chief Falilat Ogunkoya as members and Mrs. Maria Wophill as Secretary.